Lacrosse season underway for the Quakers

Hits, sticks and goals. The fastest sport on two feet is underway for Guilford’s mens lacrosse team.

Last season, the team finished 9-7, their first winning season and best record since 1992.

Under the tutelage of second-year Head Coach Tom Carmean, excitement is at an all-time high.

Senior captain Chris Ashkraft has been waiting for this season for a long time.

“My first two seasons here were pretty difficult,” said Ashcraft. “After having such a successful season last year, we don’t want to take any steps back.”

The team started the 2012 campaign with sticks ablaze.

Beginning with a 14-4 win over Shorter and followed by a thrilling contest at Ferrum, where senior captain Greg Nash netted a game-winning goal with less than a second left on the clock to beat Ferrum 14-13.

After trailing Ferrum for most of the game, the team had an explosive second-half to come back and top the Panthers. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Smith was in awe after the exhilarating win.

“I have never been a part of a sporting event like that,” said Smith. “The way we were able to battle back and never give up shows what type of team we have.” .

Following the win, the team headed back to campus for a week of hard practices to prepare for their next game against Birmingham-Southern. The game did not go as planned for the Quakers.

After an early 3-0 lead for BSC and a slow start for the Quakers, the team knew they were facing a formidable opponent. Stifling a late surge from the Quakers, Birmingham-Southern was able to hold on for a 12-10 win.

Although the team suffered the loss, they know they have the potential to be a great team.

“Even though we couldn’t pull out a win, our end goals are still intact,” said senior captain Chris Sisk. “This is just a minor road-bump in a long season.”

Following the loss to BSC, the team pulled out two convincing victories over spring break. A 9-goal win over Berry College, 12-3, followed by an 18-3 win over visiting Cazenovia College. The team had bought in to the coache’s game-plan.

But, it didn’t happen overnight.

Over the past two years the team has seen a major overhaul, which started with the hiring of head coach Tom Carmean.

Carmean has been able to implement his own brand of lacrosse over the past season, which has proved very successful.

This season Carmean brought in sixteen newcomers to the team.

“Plain and simple: Carmean knows lacrosse,” Ashkraft said of the second-year Coach. “He is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to lacrosse.”.

But there is much more involved than running, stick tricks or goalies blocking 80-100 mph shots on goal.

To prepare for the season, players had off-season workouts throughout the fall and winter. The goal for the workouts was to strengthen players for their tough schedule in 2012.

“The workouts were definitely difficult,” said Sisk. “The coaches were constantly pushing us to get better. It will all pay-off when the season starts.”

With a record of 4-2, the team looks to keep battling forward and to keep improving. Everyday, they look to get better and compete with one-another to prepare for their games in the always tough Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Picked in the preseason to finish in seventh place, the Quakers look to continue their winning ways en route to finishing the season at the top of the standings.

The Quakers next game is Saturday March, 17 at home against Randolph College at 1 p.m. at Appenzeller Field.